Participation and Committees Formation

2 days
Toolbox Themes
  • ParticipationInclude diverse stakeholders, sectors, and perspectives to improve and make more inclusive the urban planning process and results.

Identify key stakeholders and define a participatory strategy, including the different roles and engagement mechanisms.

  • Stakeholder list

  • Engagement strategy

  • Committees formation


Based on the human resources list identified in the Human and Physical Resources Review (Activity 1), the T12 Stakeholders' Mapping tool helps identify potential partners and stakeholders, how to involve them, and at what stage. This tool provides a graphic representation of the social structure around the project, considering the level of power and affinity of each individual or organisation. There are various methods to engage with different stakeholders (interviews, focus group discussions, workshops, digital surveys, etc.), and it is important to select the most appropriate one for each. For instance, a person with a high level of power and affinity or one with a low affinity might be challenging to engage during a collaborative discussion, and it may be more effective to interview her/him individually. In contrast, a workshop may be ideal to involve community members and public technical representatives.

Moreover, to guide the planning process and ensure participation from all sectors, two types of committees are formed: the steering and the advisory committee. Both are composed of representatives of different sectors such as public, private, civil society, academia, etc. but have different roles.  The Steering Committee is involved in the decision-making and validation processes. It is composed of stakeholders with a high level of power and affinity to the project, such as representatives from the local government, financial partners (if any), private sector, civil society and community, and vulnerable groups. The Advisory Committee provides technical expertise and empirical knowledge to ensure that the plan responds to different perspectives and needs. It is composed by a heterogeneous group of experts such as members of the government, private sector, academia, NGOs, vulnerable groups and international organisations. While the steering committee has the decisional power and approves the various steps of the planning process, the advisory committee is substantially involved during the technical activities and workshops and supports the plan development. The election of the steering committee and the advisory committee is based on the stakeholder mapping exercise and through the consultation of key stakeholders and the final validation of the community. Community representation and community champions must be integrated in the steering and advisory committee to ensure effective empowerment of the civil society.

Once it is clear who the key stakeholders are and how to involve them, the project work plan is reviewed to integrate any activities that will increase participation and therefore improve the planning process. The level of participation of each activity is also defined: whether it is internal (involving only the project team), participatory (including the project team and/or the advisory committee) or public (open to the entire community).

Additionally to the committees, other stakeholder groups can be created as governance and accountability mechanisms. Paragraphs 41 and 92 of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) indicate the creation of platforms and mechanisms for a wide meaningful participation at all stages of the urban decision making processes. At the global level, World Urban Forum (WUF) is a non-legislative technical forum convened every second year by UN-Habitat since 2002 and has strengthened its linkage with the New Urban Agenda and 2030 Agenda. Adding on to their national focus and scope, the National Urban Forums can be formed to seek their connection to the World Urban Forum as a UN global platform linked to the NUA and other international agendas' implementation, facilitating and coordinating country activities related to sustainable urban development. 

National Urban Forums can be organised around a specific central theme, identified as crucial to country's reality or fostering urban policies and plans formulation. Depending on the level of participation of each activity, specific technical consultations can be held through National or Local Urban Forums. 

  1. Run a stakeholder mapping exercise (T12 Stakeholders' Mapping).
  2. Define the stakeholders' engagement strategies and mechanisms, including integration of gender equality and women’s and youth's empowerment.
  3. Define the members of the steering and advisory committee and extend a formal invitation letter.
  4. Review the work plan and define the level of participation of each activity (internal, participatory, and public).
  5. Schedule review meetings with the steering committee and technical consultations with the advisory committee.